is the article about it. There is much debate about how many people were there, ANSWER themselves said half a million while we were marching, while the police say 30,000 (according to another article). I'm not entirely sure which is accurate, but the crowd was huge.
I got there before 11am, called my mom, her original bus had had problems, so they switched buses and got a late start, would be in late. I called Pat, found out Wandi wasn't in, he was still on the Metro, thought we could meet up when he got there. "Are there a lot of people there?" "oh yah." "good," he said, not realizing I was trying to point out this just meeting up thing wouldn't work. Ah well. So, I watched the rally for an hour or so.
Chumpawampa opened up, many from various committees of different organizations talked, my mom arrived and I met up with her, then Jessica Lang, a Congressman from Michigan, and Jesse Jackson spoke (when Jackson left, he passed within 3 feet of me, weirdly). But by that point I was being amused by the crowd as well. I think the best two things I saw were the paper mache mockups of Bush, Cheney, and Remsfield wandering around with a skeletel Uncle Sam speaking slogans into a megaphone, like, "Make way for the Bush Administration" and "Don't worry, everything is going to be all white." The other thing being a small group of Hassidic Jews carrying a sign, all dressed alike and in order from tallest to shortest... that was really cute. I took a picture with my mom's camera, I'll try to scan in the results when done.
Then we marched. As the group I was with (ELPC, East Liberty Presbyterian Church -- the one I grew up in) was behind the stage, we were among the first to start marching. And march. And march. That was the longest and loudest 1 mile hike I've ever been on. Very slow progress with tens of thousands of people around you, many playing drums, chanting, singing, all sorts of other stuff. I wished I'd brought my tape recorder, because some of that was great. Funniest, though, was the adaptation of the recent R&B song to, "MOVE BUSH! Get out the way get out the way! MOVE BUSH..."
The variety of people gathered was impressive as well. Mostly Mom and I ended up marching alongside the Socialist contigent (I think the entire American Socialist party showed up, by the way. I mean, I know there just isn't that many of them, and they were a noticable percentage of the crowd), occasionally dipping into hippies or with (ours and other) Presbyterians. How do I note this? Well, you see, everyone had their own unique signs... many many of them, and each proclaimed who they were with. And because of that, people seemed to cluster with those they considered themselves to be mainly with, identifying the signs. Crazy little trick of human tendencies. Anyway, I also saw a lot of punks before the march, and quite a number of other types. I think I was the only goth there though, kinda sad.
I saw no problems, everyone was fairly civil about it, someone mentioned on the subway later that it's been shown the hotter it is, the more violent these things can be, so the cold was a bonus in that respect. I did, however, notice the cops making their presence VERY WELL known. It sorta pissed me off to see it, especially at the point where there were three of them standing on top of a wall in full riot gear deliberately posing as menacingly as possible -- when I *know* there isn't jack shit they could do from that height for actual crowd control, they were there to be seen. But I guess that's how things go.
Welcome to the Police State that is America; do not fool yourself that we are anything else now, I don't.
After the protest, I dropped Mom off at her bus again, and took the Metro to meet back up with my friends. Present at that point were todomy, marg0, eolh, Bonnie, Ray, and myself. We ate food and drank much wine at an Italian place by Dupont Circle, got on the Metro and headed back to Todd and Margo's place where we dropped them off, then headed to the club for more drinking and fun.
At the club, we met up with slgarrett ... it was SOOOO much fun to see her again. She and I debated politics until I was too drunk to do so anymore. Then, while I'd thought I'd be too tired to dance at all, Matt started playing Shriekback, so .. well, I *HAD* to dance... then I just kept dancing. And dancing. And... oof do I hurt today.
At some point we all started fondling Ray in all ways, much to his irritation (though he was too drunk to really care), and Sarah and I convinced him to dress in drag next time he's in DC (though he denies it now). Then I got to dance with some purple haired cute boi named Ash. He looks very much like Faisal, so cute. At the end of the night he asked if he could keep me, I told him, "Maybe next time." Much much much fun.
So, I had a fantastic time in DC, the best I've ever had there. I'll probably go down more often with the crew to pester Matt; and maybe next time I'll actually go see museums or something. yay!